The Chicago Sky went head-to-head with Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant Sunday afternoon and won.
Chicago’s WNBA team took over Soldier Field to co-host a free basketball clinic with the University of Chicago Medicine with one goal in mind, beat 1,150. That was the number of participants that earned the NBA and Durant the Guinness World Record for largest single-venue basketball clinic. Durant and the NBA set that goal at a clinic the 2018 NBA Finals MVP hosted in New Delhi, India.
As participants filed into Soldier Field’s south parking lot, Sky general manager and head coach Amber Stocks was confident Chicago would accomplish what it set out to.
“Sorry KD, your record is going down,” Stocks said moments before the clinic kicked off.
Sunday the Chicago Sky and the University of Chicago Medicine hosted 1,442 people making them the new record holders for largest single-venue basketball clinic. Durant still holds the record for largest multi-venue basketball clinic after 3,459 kids participated at five different venues across India.
The goal for Durant and the NBA was to grow the leagues following in other countries. Similar to the NBA, the Chicago Sky was working to grow its brand as well as the WNBA’s.
“Success for one of us in this league is success for all of us,” Sky guard Diamond DeShields said. “To have the WNBA on such a high platform as the Guinness Book of World Records will hopefully bring some promotion to our league and to our team specifically. We’re all about trying to grow this game and we want to make Chicago women’s basketball one of the premier teams in the country.”
Stocks stood on stage with a basketball and a mic and directed kids and parents through 30 minutes of basketball drills. In order for everyone’s participation to count they couldn’t at any point stop their activity or leave the designated fitness area.
After the 30 minutes was up, Guinness World Records adjudicator, Michael Empric, tallied up participants, deducted those who were disqualified and made his announcement.
Chicago was named the new record holder.
“It’s a great feeling to be in the Guinness Book of World Records,” Stocks said. “Kevin Durant does such an amazing job advocating for the game of basketball. For him to have this current record globally and for us come in and break it and do it in Chicago, it’s a great feeling.”